Collection Summary

The Center for Asian American Media (CAAM) Collection contains 63 films that speak to the Asian experience through the lens of history. The collection includes early broadcasts by the ground-breaking Asian American anthology series Silk Screen (1982-1987), which explores the subject of identity and treatment of Asian Americans in the San Francisco Bay Area. The CAAM collection contains a diverse array of subjects from a variety of geogaphic locations, such as: A World Beneath the War (1997) about the Cu Chi tunnels built during the Vietnam War, Survivors (1982) which interviews survivors of the atomic bomb which dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and The Last Ghosts of War (2008) which interviews victims from the use of herbicides (agent orange) during the Vietnam War. The collection also contains biographies that show a glimpse into the life of young Asian Americans who struggle with identity, adversity, and overcoming complex obstacles in order to achieve their goals, and even the smallest wins in life, these films include: Maya Lin: A Strong Clear Vision (1994), Raymond's Portrait (1997), A.K.A. Don Bonus (1995), and Yours Truly Miss Chinatown (2008). The collection as a whole speaks to the complexities of Asian American life, culture, and experiences, evoking the universal struggle and resilience of the human condition. Researchers can access the CAAM collection only on location at the Library of Congress and WGBH.

Collection Background

The Center for Asian American Media (CAAM) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to presenting stories that convey the richness and diversity of Asian American experiences to the broadest audience possible. CAAM funds, produces, distributes and exhibits works in film, television and digital media. For 37 years, CAAM has exposed audiences to new voices and communities, advancing our collective understanding of the American experience through programs specifically designed to engage the Asian American community and the public at large. This collection was digitized as part of the American Archive of Public Broadcasting’s Public Broadcasting Preservation Fellowship by Fellow Tanya Yule, with a partnership between the Center for Asian American Media, The Bay Area Video Coalition and San José State University.